Tag Archives: gamelan

Various Artists’ Gamelan of Central Java XV: Returning Minimalism: In Nem

The subtitle of this disc, “Returning Minimalism,” denotes a key fact about twentieth-century American minimalism: it makes extensive use of the formal elements of gamelan. The circular structures, repetitive melodies, intricate rhythms, and incremental modulations of tone are all hallmarks … Continue reading

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Various Artists’ Gamelan of Central Java XIV: Ritual Sounds of Sekaten

Ritual Sounds of Sekaten is a pendant to Volume II in the series Gamelan of Central Java, presenting three more examples of the music played for the Islamic religious festival of Sekaten in Java. The first two tracks are the … Continue reading

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Various Artists’ Gamelan of Central Java XII: Pangkur One/XIII: Pangkur Two

“Pangkur” denotes a kind of music in the Javanese classical canon that can take many forms — sung poetry, court dances, and many other idioms — and can be performed in either slendro or pelog scales. It is perhaps the … Continue reading

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Various Artists’ Gamelan of Central Java, XI: Music of Remembrance

This volume of the series Gamelan of Central Java presents an interesting conundrum: in a cultural tradition that has ideas of death, dying, and commemoration that differ radically from those we in the West hold, what is music suitable for … Continue reading

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Various Artists’ Gamelan of Central Java, X: Sindhen Trio

“Sindhen” refers to the solo part in a gamelan, usually sung by a woman pesindhen (soloist). In this collection, part of the extensive series produced by John Noise Manis on the gamelan of Central Java, we are presented with two … Continue reading

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Various Artists, Gamelan of Central Java, Volume VIII: Court Music Treasures/ Gamelan of Central Java IX: Songs of Wisdom and Love

Volume VIII of the excellent and ongoing series of Central Javanese Gamelan produced by John Noise Manis is a pendant to the sixth volume, subtitled Kraton Surakarta. It represents an elaboration on the classical traditions of Javanese court music and, … Continue reading

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Various Artists, Gamelan of Central Java, Vols. V-VII

Vol. V: Gaya Yogyakarta (Felmay, 2005) Vol. VI: Kraton Surakarta (Felmay, 2006) Vol. VII: Edge of Tradition (Felmay, 2006) Within that huge congeries of islands that we know as Indonesia are two major traditions of classical music, those of Bali … Continue reading

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Various Artists, Gamelan of Central Java

Vol. I: Classical Gendings (Felmay, 2001) Vol. II: Ceremonial Music (Felmay, 2002) Vol. III: Modes and Timbres (Felmay, 2004) Vol. IV: Spiritual Music (Felmay, 2004). It occurs to me, embarking on the exploration of central Javanese gamelan, that some explanation … Continue reading

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Çudamani: The Seven-Tone Gamelan Orchestra from the Village of Pengosekan, Bali

Implicit in the subtitle of this CD is a bit of information that is important in Balinese gamelan music: most orchestras come from particular villages, working in the traditions of those villages. They also compete for honors, reflecting glory not … Continue reading

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Uun Budiman and the Jugala Gamelan Orchestra’s Banondari: New Directions in Jaipongan

One realizes, after a while, that popular music, while it may appear in many guises, has certain things in common. Sometimes it is subject matter, sometimes it is more elusive. But, more on that later. Jaipongan is a newly designated … Continue reading

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Endah Laris & Dedek Gamelan Orchestra

I’ve often maintained that tradition is a living thing — it grows and changes, or it dies. Another example of the truth of that idea crossed my desk in the form of the CD Endah Laris & Dedek Gamelan Orchestra. … Continue reading

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John Noise Manis’ Trance Gamelan in Bali

“Trance” as denoting a specific type of music is pretty much a Western concept, although it recognizes the power of music to alter our mental state. In other traditions, music is not always, or even usually, a separate event — … Continue reading

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